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have been showing up alleging the democrats are like nazis. no evidence that you guys are like that, but i wonder if you want to take this opportunity to condemn that kind of behavior. >> sure. that shouldn't be happening now or when the left showed up to president bush with their signs of him as hitler. that's not very good discourse. >> let's talk about dick army, the chairman of freedom works. a magazine in profiling lobbyists called him one of d.c.'s most powerful, hired guns and that the firm he represents, fa pharmaceutical companies, the drug companies, oppose reform because of drug competitive pricing. he also represents the life insurance industry. mr. armey also represents
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domestic oil producers who have opposed the cap and trade energy program. >> freedom works has been involved for 25 years. we have our mission statement. we've always opposed bigger government, higher taxes. we opposed bush's t.a.r.p. bailout of wall street. his expansion of wall street. medicare part d. we have a long history. we've always opposed the same thing and about who's supporting what, pharma has spent millions supporting congress. >> look, you acknowledge of course that mr. armey does work for the four-profit insurance industry which is dead set against reform and is a key talking point of some of these demonstrators. they don't want reform of any
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kind. >> everybody keeps saying insurance is against the reform, but just look at press releases on line from blue cross blue shield for example. that's the government saying you have to buy their product. they're not going to be opposed to that. the gum industry would be in favor of a mandate that says everybody has to chew gum. it's not accurate. >> max, i'm wondering why, you talked about after david asked you the first question, you did talk a level of inappropriate discourse and i'm wondering why freedom works wouldn't come out and make a statement then and say, while we appreciate that some of our conservative friends may be very angry, we would like this to be maintained at a civil level of discourse here. >> i think that would be presumption on our part.
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what they've seen is a $700 billion wall street bailout, a trillion dollar stimulus and now, the takeover of health care. they're upset. we're driving all of these people to these events is not true. we have our members. we encourage them every town hall. >> one thing that is not true, here's the document you're sending out. you're encouraging people to look at. you encourage people to go to these meetings, tell the representative you oppose any government-run health care program with higher taxes and bigger deficit. why don't you then tell the same people to oppose medicare because that's government-run and driving up the deficit. >> well, we try to stay focused on what's relevant. they're discussing about how much more they're going to get involved in the health care market. we focused on the bailout last
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fall. now congress is talking about this, so we're talking about this. >> we appreciate you coming on today. monica, max is a great guy and he's very effective at what he does, but you can't ignore the evidence that in fact, these protests are being fueled and getting their talking points, their money, buses, from these republican conservative operatives. >> it's also interesting, the medicaid point you brought up. there are reports from one of those town halls where people were asked, are you against any form of government-funded insurance and people raised their hands and half the people there were on medicaid. >> by the way, we've got some interesting, breaking political news right now. senator mel martinez just announced he's resigning so he can quote, move on with his life. he looks forward to being part of the researching republican
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party. he wants to give up the seat now so he can plan in florida for a transition of some type. >> interesting. an unexpected dose of good news about the economy suggesting the recession may be easing. the unemployment rate dipped to 9.4%. analysts expected an increase. this was the first decline in 15 months. still, the economy did lose 247,000 jobs, but that is the fewest monthly job losses in a year and much better than january when 741,000 jobs disappeared. that was the worst monthly jobs loss in 50 years. the president found the numbers encouraging. >> we received additional signs that the worst may be behind us. though we lost 247,000 jobs in july, that was nearly 200,000 fewer jobs lost than in june and far fewer than the nearly
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700,000 jobs a month that we were losie ining at the beginni the year. today, we're pointed in the right direction. we're losing jobs at less than half the rate we were when i took office. >> and more fuel for the economy. president obama signed legislation today extending the extremely popular cash for clunkers program. the senate gave final approval last night for an additional $2 billion to provide rebates of up to $4500 for new, fuel-efficient vehicles. mark sanford's wife says she's moving out out of the governor's mansion. >> in a statement she just released, she says quote, i am so thankful for the prayers we have received. it is with this support and after much careful and prayerful consideration, that i've decided to move back to charleston with
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our sons for the school year. from there, we will continue to process of healing our family. the governor just released this statement -- joining us on the phone is a reporter covering this story with the "charleston post." in the statement, he also mentions that it is quote, best for the process of reconciliation. mrs. sanford did not mention this. does this mean it's really over? >> it's hard to say right now. they're trying to draw this out saying there is. >> we know that she has called her husband's behavior inexcusable. she has said she is willing to give him another chance, but it
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wouldn't be easy. is this a change in tone from her? >> i think it's seen along those lines, but the issue goes back to the priority for the boys and just getting a change for them. they were all kind of out of bounds already, but there is kind of a different kinds of media in the state capital versus what's here on the coast. >> and how does this affect the governor politically? we assume he still plans to stay in office until the end of his term next year? >> yeah, but it's going to be a lot more lonely for him in the governor's mansion. >> as far as the timing, it's pretty intriguing. the family just got back from a two-week, european vacation. they were all together. maybe that suggests it didn't go that well or maybe it did and they had a heart to heart
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discussion about what would be best. any reporting on that? >> everyone's reading it -- a lot of you would think the worst. the statement basically says, we're not together, we're not a family unit anymore. the one thing we've been kicking around is when they traveled, the governor was carrying the same passports he used to go to argentina. just themming through that was probably something she was thinking about. >> ouch. it's rough for the family. i think the hardest thing is we think about those four children. would they be guaranteed more privacy, you say no. i wonder how this is better for them because moving schools will be tough, too. obviously, she had to have a strong motivation to get out of that house. >> we don't know what schools they're going to, but probably private schools. >> we're just looking at some video of the family actually moving out of the governor's
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mansion. >> any political reaction? any republicans talking about this or is it just complete silence? >> again, it's more of the same. this is more of a family thing that's opposed to a political nature. is another shoe going to drop and when. >> thanks so much for sharing your reporting on this. david, i just keep going back to those four boys. i just feel for them to have to go through something like this is tough enough and to do it public spotlight is tough enough. >> and we just hope this is a decision that everybody agrees on. monica, when we come back, taking out terrorists. >> the taliban's number one in pakistan was reportedly killed. plus, congress' fleet of planes is about to get an upgrade, but should lawmakers be spending half a billion dollars
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welcome back. sounds like there could be a major development in the war against the taliban. >> it's believed the taliban's top commander in pakistan is dead. both the u.s. and pakistan believe a u.s. drone missile attacked on wednesday and killed baitullah mehsud and his wife. they include last year's bombing of the marriott hotel in
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islamabad and the 2007 assassination of benazir bhutto. richard engel joins us live. is there any confirmation that he's dead? >> reporter: the biggest problem is that no body has been recovered by u.s. forces or pakistani forces. he was killed, according to the taliban, in this drone strike on wednesday in a village that is still very much under control of the taliban. it's not a place where u.s. forces could go in, recover a body, identify it. however, pakistan's foreign minister said today that he's quite confident that baitullah mehsud was killed. the person then according to u.n., who was responsible for 70% of the bombings in pakistan. >> i'm sure there are people at home saying, if the taliban is
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saying this, is there a chance he hasn't been killed and this is the strategic move on their part? what are your sources telling us? >> reporter: that is always a possibility and until there's 100% confirmation, i think that's why you're seeing officials being cautious because there have in the past, at least two occasions, where american authorities and pakistani authorities thought baitullah mehsud might have been been killed, but this time, they are much more confident. they believe they saw him with the drone as the two missiles were fired from it on wednesday and that he was sleeping on the roof of a house, actually staying with his father-in-law recovering. he was known to have kidney problems and had an iv in his system and was getting medical treatment at around 1:00 at night when this drone attack took place. so there is a much higher degree
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of confidence this time than in previous suspicions that he was killed. >> tell us about the taliban organization in afghanistan. would this sort of take out, have a significant impact on their operation? >> reporter: baitullah mehsud was 35 years old, a former truck driver. he was known as charismatic, someone who could unify the taliban factions. it was a coalition of many smaller groups and he was able to unite them and create them into a fighting force of about 10,000 to 20,000 fighters. so the fighters are still there. we've been told by taliban sources, today, there are meetings underway to try and come up with a new leader. it is not clear if a new leader will have the same personality to hold all these small groups
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together. >> richard, thanks so much. aside from the good news of this strategic victory, anytime we can get richard on a broadcast, we're doing well. >> this is true. we'll take him. up next, new details about the journalists who were being held in north korea. when were they captured? were they actually on north korean soil? plus, a possible ufo sighting on a british newscast. it will make you say, with me david? no way. >> bravo. ple save money on car insurance. gecko: aw thank you, sir. boss: but i think there are a few other things you can say about what a reliable company geico is. gecko: right. uh, well maybe how geico's the third-largest car insurance company in america? nice tidbit there. boss: exactly. and i've been thinking, looking a bit more businesslike might help too. gecko: oh my. uhhh, no it's, what's, what's the word...
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at virginia tech and northern illinois university also sold accessories to george sodini. he killed three people and wounded nine before killing himself. the center of one of two american journalists held in north korea says they briefly touched north korean soil before they were captured. lisa ling says her sister will share her story at some point. and twitter is still a problem for some blackberry users. they say they've been without service for more than 24 hours. one blogger said he believes the kremlin was behind the attack. i use tweety and that's been up and running since yesterday afternoon. >> my blackberry's not working at all. >> there you go. when we come back, president obama promised change was coming
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to washington, d.c. >> 200 days now into his presidency, is he living up to his campaign promise? plus, it's the august recess and congress is leaving d.c. on a jet plane. >> and they're about to get a lot nicer. we'll be right back with the upgrade on "the big picture." i was in the grocery store when i had a heart attack. my daughter was with me. i took a bayer aspirin out of my purse and chewed it. my doctor said the bayer aspirin saved my life. please talk to your doctor about aspirin and your heart. i'm going to be grandma for a long time. i know when it's the perfect time to change my tires. when it comes to shaving i know when to change my blade. nnouncer) gillette fusion's indicator strip fades to white when it may be time to change. fresh blade. better shave.
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mr. evans? this is janice from onstar. i have received an automatic signal you've been in a front-end crash. do you need help? yeah. i'll contact emergency services and stay with you. you okay? yeah.
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what do you say to a spin around the color wheel? to paint with primer already mixed in? test samples instead of can commitments? what do you say we dip into our wallets less and grab a hold of the latest tools out there so we can quit all that messing around with extra steps and get busy turning our doing dials up a notch? more saving. more doing. right now, the dow is trading up over 130 points. the s&p 500, about 15, nasdaq, almost 29 points. oil down $1 settling just below $71 a barrel. the new jobs report is a sign that the country could be
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pulling out of a recession. job losses closed at 247,000. analysts expected it to increase to 9.6. shareholders voted overwhelmingly to back the company's acquisitioacquisition. the deal is approved to make merck is second biggest drug company in the world, just behind pfizer. welcome back. i'd david schuster in washington. >> i'm monica novotny in new york filling in for tamron hall. while the federal government spends billions, more on wars and more on banks and car companies. at least congress is doing its part to cut back, right? not so much. congress is planning on spending
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550 million of your tax dollars to buy eight jets. take a look at this. in 1995, congress spent roughly $1.5 million on travel. today, that number has jumped to 12.5 million. so where do they go when they fly? $275,000 on trips to kuwait, 250,000 to germany and austria and close to 200,000 on trips to poland and china. is all this travel necessary? you may be asking. can they fly commercial like the rest of us and exactly where is this money coming from? >> no members of congress wanted to come on and talk about this, so in "the bigger picture" you may recall when the ceos used three corporate jets to fly to washington and begged for bailout money. do you remember the reaction from congress? watch. >> this is a delicious irony in
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seeing private luxury jets flying in to washington, d.c. and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hand. couldn't you all have downgraded to first class or jet pooled or something to get here. at least sent a message that you do get it. >> speaking of get it. couldn't members of congress fly commercial? mike viqueira's at the white house. what is going on here? i think i read that the air force said let's give them three aircraft and suddenly, that turns into eight. >> one of the reasons you may have had trouble getting a congressman on camera to respond is that they are in all sorts of far flung local. their on congressional delegation all over the four corners of the world. iraq, afghanistan, of course,
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but also in europe and other countries that are perhaps less perilous, not on the front burner at this point of u.s. foreign policy. here's the story, david. and let's be fair about that. the house appropriations committee, according to their statistics, 43% of the planes are used by the staff. 42%, i myself, remember that date night the president took with his wife, he flew a gulf stream 3. i was in the gulf stream 5. a sweet ride, no doubt about it. 14% of these flights are used by congress for these, other official travel by congress. it's not fair to say it's all for congress. that being said, yes, they gave
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them two more gulf stream 5s for a total price of $200 million. they also gave them more dc 9s. for a total of five. i'm sorry, five 737s to replace dc 9s. they've asked the department of defense for one, plus two, at least to buy them outright. they're essentially going get five. congress says the dc 9 is outdated. >> in other words, for the air force, they know what kind of craft they need. then congress says no, we don't want that. we want eight. >> the defense that they will give in congress is that look, the department of defense plays this shell game all the time. they ask for things, lowball us,
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knowing we're going to give them more any way. the dod, they didn't ask for enough of the m-wraps. we had to give them those even though they didn't ask for them. the department of defense isn't always 100% the final authority. >> so, mike, i'm just reading here, designed to replace seven ageing and more expensive jets so the net impact will be one additional plane. can they turn this into like a cash for clunkers opportunity? >> that's what it sounds like. they need to plus up. >> there have been many times when i've had to fly a dc 9 and there's electrical promise and that's just the way it is. passengers get stuck at the airport. >> get yourself elected, monica.
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>> mike viqueira, you're the camera manager. thanks as always. you know, monica, we all have to fly coach or commercial on so many of these flights. i think people should be just outraged over this. >> i wonder if it isn't time for congress to say, we're going to cut back on some of our travel just like americans every day. we're all cutting back on our own vacations. people are doing what they have to do to get thu this and perhaps congress should be doing the same thing. >> absolutely. in today's "close-up," is president obama changing washington? the promise of change was an integral part of his campaign for president. >> change comes to washington. change happens. change happens because the american people demand it. because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership.
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a new politics for a new time. >> but 200 days into his presidency, americans have mixed feelings about whether president obama is making progress on changing washington. according to a new gallup poll, 49% of americans say he has made progress, but 48% say no. in april, 53% of the public thought he was making progress on changing washington. with me now live, charlie cook. good to see you. independents we hear now, more likely to believe obama has not made progress in changing washington than they think he should have. how big of a problem is that? >> i think it's two different things. independents early on were very supportive of anything and everything president obama wanted to do and they've just been souring over it all and just about every question you want to ask, he's -- a lot of
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independents have lost their confidence in president obama. the thing is, this problem of the poisonous partisanship you see in washington. it wasn't created overnight. it's not going to end overnight. it takes two to tango and i don't think either side is making much of an effort. the democrats, there's not a lot of bipartisanship and certainly republicans aren't either. so i think both sides are at fault. >> you don't think one party is more to blame than the other? since april, many more americans say the tone and level of civility between republicans and democrats has gotten worse. from 24% to 35%. >> that's the view from out there, but the view from having lived in washington since 1972, this tone of partisanship started getting ugly in the mid-80s and has just gotten
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worse and worse and worse since the mid-80s. doesn't matter whether democrats were in charge or republicans. it's been a long spiral downward. i don't know whether it was naivety or just spin, that the president thought he could change the tone in washington. it takes both sides to do it and there's not a lot of effort on either side in changing the overall term. >> when democrats think about this strategy for health care, should they continue to go with the bipartisan approach or go jam it down, even if that's seen as partisan. >> the thing about it is first of all, the 51 vote approach, using the reconciliation process, that won't work on health care. under the byrd rule, you could only do direct revenue related
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things or be thrown out of order. you can't run the whole health care proposal through on reconciliation. once you take the money out, republicans would just filibuster the other part. the nonbipartisan approach, they can't really do it. they're going to end up compromising to the point where if they started off dealing with republicans in the beginning, will probably end up in the same place, but will have lost a lot of altitude. >> thanks for talking altitude after our new jet segment. we've got some breaking news. eunice kennedy shriver, she's in the hospital with her family at
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her side. she was one of the families of the special olympics. again, every indication that she is in critical condition at 89 years old. >> our thoughts are certainly with the family. thank you. "the big picture" is back after a quick break. >> and you heard the excuse. the dog ate my homework. >> but have you heard the one, the cat downloaded the porn on my computer? yeah. all the time, right? [ female announcer ] we were flattered when regenerist beat the $100 cream. flabbergasted when we creamed the $700 cream! for under $30 regenerist micro-sculpting cream hydrates better than 32 of the world's most expensive creams. fantastic. phenomenal.
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rush limbaugh once again today going where few dare to go, accusing speaker pelosi of playing the nazi card. >> she called these people na
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nazis. >> speaker pelosi is not making this up. look at these first person pictures sent to us from chicago. that person's sign says, stop obama's nazi health care cuts and this person put a hitler mustache on the president. high-minded debate intend. here with us, mike stark and phillip klein. phillip, do you want to take this opportunity to condemn limbaugh when he compares president obama to hitler? >> i think there's no excuse for it. those comments were out of line, but i have to laugh at the sort of liberals sort of discovering it's offensive to speak of the president this way.
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move on.org ran an ad comparing bush to hitler. dick durbin compared u.s. servicemen -- it's absolutely wrong, but the point is is that you know, during -- you could take a picture of someone at a rally and fintd all sorts of extremists. i remember during the bush years, i used to go to antiwar rallies. i got heckled because i'm jewish and supported the war because there was always a contingent. would it have been fair for me to say that anyone who criticizes the iraq war would have to answer? that's not fair. >> right, but i don't remember any prominent democrats at the time envoeking hitler.
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mike stark, your opportunity. when rush limbaugh compares the logo, here's what i think he's talki ining about, but there's major flaw with what limbaugh's arguing -- there they are. here's the obama health care logo and the marine corp. logo. here's the obama health care logo and medicine symbol. what's he doing? >> i feel sorry for mr. klein. i think he just said it was wrong, what rush limbaugh did. i wonder how long it will take him to apologize. >> i don't have have to apologize because i'm here to express my own views, thank you. >> then i think your career is
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finished. you know, i've been up on the hill tauging to republicans a lot and two days ago i asked what he thought about his more racist comments. he said to get ahead in the obama administration, you have to hate white people. in the past, he's said things like the naacp teach their people to -- rush limbaugh is a phenomenal talent. he can go for three hours every day, talking for three hours by himself and hold an audience. he puts his talent to a use and he's driving the republican party on with him. >> i'm just wondering, we heard from harry reid and a part of his quote, he says they're talking their cues from talk show hosts. it's not often you try to blow yourself up, but that's what they're obviously doing. it's a party being run by a talk show host. i think there are a lot of
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people saying you know, rush limbaugh is the one in charge still. >> i think the point that democrats are trying to do is what this is about is that they can't defend their health care plan on the merits. >> mike, philip, how can they defend it if they're not even being allowed a chance to explain it? you have people showing up, not aloeing them to even talk. >> listen, the president of the united states has had how many prime time news conferences -- >> we're not talking about the president. we're talking about these town halls. >> they've had months to make their case -- >> it's not about responsibility. >> if you look at polling numbers, they show mounting opposition to health care policies. >> i can't imagine, any poll that suggests that people lacking discussion where one side doesn't get a chance to talk. the strategy of interrupts town
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halls, is this part of some effort to create a distraction so the democrats cannot put forward their message about the four-profit insurance companies and profits and all of that? >> i think you're getting close to the real story. the story isn't about rush limbaugh. the story is that republicans on the hill are being led around by the note by limbaugh. i talked to senator demint. there's a petition on the website, the republican party, if they want to responsibly lead this country, they need to distance themselves from these people that don't have america's best interest at heart. they have promoting themselves and earning another $25 million contract for the next 20 years. >> thank you very much. and i think we should be clear. we enjoy a vigorous debate on if show, it's just too debate on
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the show. it's unfortunate these people are shouting everything down. >> pushing and shoving and shouting does not make for a civil discussion. i wonder if we'll see republican lawmakers coming out and condemning rush limbaugh's comments. >> monica, up next on the big picture, a city employee in florida was nearly fired for not saying hi to somebody. we'll explain why. >> if you can explain that. plus, a british man is taking an unusual bike ride across the country. it will make you say no way. >> no way! >> no way! 3... 2... 1. ever wonder how cheez-it bakes... so much real cheese in such small bites? ♪ baking complete! well, now you know. cheez-it. the big cheese.
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monica, imagine being suspended for not saying hello to the boss. it happened to a city maintenance worker in deerfield beach, florida. >> that's right. and let it be noted on the record, i did say hello to you as soon as we started this show, david. >> i'm not your boss though. cassandra was suspended for two days without pay for failing to
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greet the city's mayor. she says she was cleaning a beach pavilion on monday when the mayor stopped to speak with george edmunds, who is the acting director of the parks and recreation department. she said she didn't want to interrupt so she went about her job and then was called to edmunds' office and reprimanded for not acknowledging the mayor. edmunds wrote in the memo, quote, walking by the mayor amounts to insubordination and the mayor indicated this was not the first time you had not acknowledged her when you came into contact. in a memo to edmunds, the may jor says i want to be clear i have not advocated any disciplines again miss moye. i did not notice any conduct and did not comment on any behavior by her part. >> her suspension was later rescinded. she must still attend counseling about her actions. a note will go into her file. moye says the whole thing is preposterous and says she wants an apology. when it comes to excuses,
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this one takes the cake. a florida man is blaming his cat, yes, his cat, for downloading child pornography. keith griffin of jensen beach was arrested webs and charge e and charged with ten counts of child pornography. they found more than 10,000 images on his computer, but griffin said his cat would jump on his computer when he was gone and when he returned there would be strange material downloaded. the police didn't buy it either. the 48-year-old remains in a martin county jail. >> sick man, monica, and i hope that cat, mr. griffin, gets put away for a long time. >> exactly. it is almost 4:00 on the east coast. 1:00 p.m. out west. coming up next hour, the unemployment rate takes an unexpected dip. but the white house isn't uncorking the champagne just yet. what president obama is saying about the new jobs report. plus, town halls turn angry. the shouting matches over health
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care reform. those shouting matches are becoming violent. we'll talk with one democratic congressman who is not afraid himself to hold a town hall meeting. it's moving day for jenny sanford. why she's taking the kids and leaving and doing it in front of the cameras. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. mr. evans? this is janice from onstar. i have received an automatic signal you've been in a front-end crash. do you need help? yeah. i'll contact emergency services and stay with you. you okay? yeah. onstar. standard for one year on 14 chevy models.
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this hour on "the big picture," the unemployment rate has dropped for the first time in 15 months. good news for the u.s. economy, even better for the obama administration. >> plus, the town hall confrontations are turning violent. disruptions have been encouraged by gop operatives, and rush limbaugh is adding to the em tremism. >> obama has a health care logo that's right out of adolf
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hitler's playbook. >> where is all of this heading? new fears for the safety of america's first black president. also, remember when congress criticized the automakers for their corporate jet? >> couldn't you all have downgraded to first class or jet pooled or something? >> now lawmakers plan to spend $500 million on eight new aircraft for themselves. and the other things we thought you should know. south carolina governor mark sanford's wife is moving out. and hillary clinton is getting down. all that and more this hour on msnbc. >> good afternoon. i'm monica novotny live in new york filling in for tamron hall today. >> and great to have you here. i'm david shuster live in washington. the big picture at this hour, a significant sign the recession may be easing. the nation's unemployment rate dropped unexpectedly last month. the first drop in 15 months. the news was cheered by wall street. the closing bell just rang and
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the dow is going to finish up over 113 points. the unemployment rate dipped 0.1% last month. the numbers are encouraging but the economy still lost 247,000 jobs last month but that's the fewest monthly job losses in a year. it's a huge improvement from january when the economy shed 741,000 jobs, the worst monthly loss. >> the president found today's numbers encouraging. >> this morning we received additional signs that the worst may be behind us. though we lost 247,000 jobs in july, that was nearly 200,000 fewer jobs lost than

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MSNBC August 7, 2009 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT

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